GM food does not affect meat

DNA from genetically modified (GM) feed does not have a harmful effect on meat, according to a statement issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The statement was issued following a request from the European Commission, after a petition was launched to label food products- such as meat, milk and eggs- from animals that had been fed with GM food.

The Commission was interested in the potential for transgenes or their products to be incorporated into animal tissues or products.

Following a survey of literature on the matter, the EFSA concluded that the digestion process rapidly breaks recombinant DNA into small fragments, reducing the chance of them being absorbed into the muscle of animals intact.

It also observed that the DNA introduced into animals through recombinant DNA technology is no different from other sources of DNA in the diet.

"Biologically active genes and proteins are common constituents of foods and feed in varying amounts," said the statement.

"After ingestion, the rapid degradation into short DNA or peptide fragments is observed in the gastrointestinal tract of animals and humans."

It continued that: "To date, a large number of experimental studies with livestock have shown that recombinant DNA fragments or proteins derived from GM plants have not been detected in tissues, fluids or edible products from farm animals like broilers, cattle, pigs or quails."